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Publisher's Summary

Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show and one of today's most hilarious comedians and insightful social critics, pens a brilliant account of how she discovered her comedic voice. In this collection of autobiographical essays, Winstead vividly recounts how she fought to find her own voice, both as a comedian and as a woman, and how humor became her most powerful weapon in confronting life's challenges.

Growing up in the Midwest, the youngest child of conservative Catholic parents, Winstead learned early in her life that the straightforward questions she posed to various authority figures around her - her parents, her parish priest, even an anti-abortion counselor - prompted many startled looks and uncomfortable silences, but few answers. Her questions rattled people because they exposed the inconsistencies and hypocrisies in the people and institutions she confronted. Yet she didn't let that stop her from pursuing her dreams.

Funny and biting, honest and poignant, this no-holds-barred collection gives an in-depth look into the life of one of today's most influential comic voices. In writing about her childhood longing to be a priest, her role in developing The Daily Show, and of her often problematic habit of diving into everything head first, asking questions later (resulting in multiple rescue-dog adoptions and travel disasters), Lizz Winstead has tapped an outrageous and heartfelt vein of the all-too-human comedy.

©2012 Lizz Winstead (P)2012 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Diane
  • United States
  • 08-13-12

Loved it!

Any additional comments?

Disclaimer: Memoirs by smart funny people are my favorite kind of book. They’re easy to listen to (meaning, I can do other things while I listen), entertaining and, when they’re well done, I learn something.

Lizz Winstead IS smart and funny, she’s had an interesting life and her writing is honest and engaging. I was not disappointed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I Could Listen to Lizz All Day

Any additional comments?

Of course you expect Lizz Winstead to be funny. But she also brought me to tears with her stories of her family-- her late parents were strict Catholics addicted to Fox News-- and yet they loved each other so dearly. Her family are Irish Catholics from Minnesota, and when she channels their voices, I can hear my own relatives...

If you love the Daily Show, (she was the co-creator... and so much more) if you dig feminist funny, if you love to talk about sex, politics, and how life is ALWAYS stranger than fiction, you will love Lizz's memoir as much as I did.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Funny But a Difficult Listen

Hard to reconcile the paradox in the title of this review.

I found Lizz Winstead's story/stories very relatable - I empathize with her affinity for the non-traditional path for women, and, indeed, for people in general whatever their gender, and I think she is extremely funny.

Her achievements are admirable.

However, her rapid staccato sing-songy delivery in this book made me a little dizzy. It's like she needs to lower her caffeine intake or try "Sleepytime" tea instead. I have no idea what her drink of choice may be, but I definitely couldn't listen for very long segments without getting comedic whiplash.

Lizz - calm down! You're funny, amusing, entertaining, and we're not going anywhere.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Left wanting more and more and more

Brilliantly written, read, and assembled. I listened twice in a row and laughes harder the second time.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing!!!

This book is so wonderful. It's hilarious and touching all at the same time. I would recommend this to anyone who needs a good laugh and wants to know how "The Daily Show" got started.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • darswords
  • Christmas Valley, Oregon, United States
  • 12-04-14

Read/Listen I Loved It!

Like Rachel Maddow and Jon Steward? Read/listen to Lizz Free or Die to find out how they all relate.

I remember seeing Lizz on Rachel's show and on Melissa Harris-Perry when she was promoting her book. But I remember seeing her stand up for feminism and abortion and rights for everyone. I loved her point of view. I couldn't wait to read her book. Sadly, now I am finished. I hope she decides to write more. It was fun, bittersweet, sad, maddening, and back around to laugh out loud. Um, not so great to read when your partner is asleep next to you. The LOL moments got me in trouble a few times.

This book is written in essays. Sort of in chronological order, but not. I like that it strays as her mind does which fits perfectly with mine. I wish I would have had a book like this as I was a teen or early twenties. Following her own path made her the strong wonderful person she is today.

Try it! I loved it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Laugh 'til I Die!

What did you love best about Lizz Free or Die?

I knew I would love this book, but it wildly exceeded my expectations.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If I could have quit my job, drove to the beach and listened to this book straight through, I would totally have done that. Yes, it was that good!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Drive Carefully

If you could sum up Lizz Free or Die in three words, what would they be?

So damn funny

What did you like best about this story?

I listened on the way home from work to cheer myself up. It worked amazingly well!

One note of caution: I had to pull over a few times because I laughed so hard my eyes filled with tears. It's probably not a good choice if you're in a hurry.

Which scene was your favorite?

Candy/Edie the "clean and passionate" rescue dog

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but I made it last. It cheered me up about 10 separate times.

Any additional comments?

I hope she writes another!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • Eagle, CO, United States
  • 12-24-12

Laughing and Crying with Lizz

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. I want them to laugh.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Lizz-She is so real in a whacky way.

What about Lizz Winstead’s performance did you like?

Her funny tales

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes,

Any additional comments?

I loved Lizz's impersonation of her mother. A perfect MN accent.

  • Overall
    out of 5 stars

Not funny

This book as a whole is not funny and whatever else it is is hard to figure out. What is worse is that Lizz has an awful voice. Keep the narration for the professionals!